Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Text Isaiah 9:6c Time 17 12 08 Place Childs Hill Baptist Church
Some years ago now my mother died, which is a great loss. But I had her for many years and I still have my father, which is a great blessing. Not only that but like many of you I have lived through many years of peace. Such blessings are not to be taken for granted. To have a father who cares for you and to be in a peaceful environment are great blessings many do not know. I want to talk tonight about what it is to know Jesus caring for you and bringing you peace.
We are looking at Isaiah 9:6 a great prophecy of Messiah. We looked before at the first two titles or names given to Messiah here and tonight I want us to look at the second two. We looked last time at
1. Wonderful Counsellor 2. Mighty God
The Lord Jesus is full of both wisdom and power. He is the wisdom and power of God. This is because he is both man and God. He is the God man, the one Mediator between man and God. There is no greater wisdom than the supernatural wisdom found in him. There is not greater power than the Almighty power of God which he wields.
Now this evening I want us to concentrate on the second two phrases here delineating the character of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Everlasting Father 2. Prince of Peace
The first two names really flow from the name he is given back in 7:14 Immanuel (God with us). These next two bring us to the matter of what this Child to be born, this Son to be given, this Wonderful Counsellor, this Mighty God will bring about when he comes. He not only preserves and liberates his people, he does much more.
1. Recognise Jesus Christ as the Everlasting Father
1. He is a father
To refer to the Son as Father seems strange indeed. The reference here is not to the First Person of the Trinity, however. The point here, rather, is that the Messiah will reign like a father. He does this as God because, of course, because he is Mighty God. Like the Father he is A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows (Psalm 68:5). Like God the Father he is one of whom it can be said As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:13). Like the LORD he also disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Just as an earthly father deserves honour so Jesus Christ deserves honour too.
In other words, the Lord Jesus is marked by fatherly compassion and by tender care. This sometimes means hard discipline but it is always for the good of those who so suffer. Wasn’t the Lord Jesus like a father to this disciples? How he loved them, how he cared for them. In John 14:18 he says I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. So he deals with all who are his. When he said I am the good Shepherd he was expressing much the same thought. Remember too how he wept over Jerusalem saying he longed to gather them as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Or think of how he speaks in the Sermon on the Mount like a wise father teaching his children.
Do you know the Lord Jesus as a father watching over you? Perhaps you have never thought of his tender and loving care – you ought to. It can be yours through faith in him. Believer, may be you have never thought of the Lord Jesus in this way. You ought to.
2. He is eternal
As before, in other places with the very human epithet of Father comes this clearly divine one of eternal or everlasting. Jesus had no beginning and he will have no end. The point, however, is that he is everlastingly a father to his children. He is ‘Father-Forever’. It is very sad when a parent dies, especially a good one (I can testify). But this Father never dies.
Warning: we all look with hope in one direction or another. If you are not looking to Christ, wherever you are looking cannot last. It will be removed.
Encouragement: if you are looking to the Lord Jesus he will never be taken from you.
2. Recognise Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace
1. He is a prince
The title prince is a royal one. He is a leader, a valiant young leader. Here is David revived and all his promise fulfilled. Here is one who is victorious and who will rule. Cf Ezekiel 34:24, 25 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. He is a prince but he is superior to all kings. See Acts 5:31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. Rev 5:1 Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Who is your prince? Look to Christ, the prince of glory, the prince of life. He has overcome the prince of this earth, the prince of demons.
2. He brings peace
He is not only David but Solomon too. This is the emphasis. His victories lead to peace. The triumphs he brings about lead to peace. He not only brings peace but the methods he uses to secure peace are peaceful means. Other princes gain victory through war, he does so through peace. John the Baptist’s father Zechariah picks this up (in Luke 1:78, 79). He speaks of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. We are very familiar with the words of the angels to the shepherds when Jesus was born too Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.
Jesus himself speaks in these terms
Luke 7:50 (woman who'd led a sinful life) Jesus said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace.
8:48 (woman with issue of blood) Then he said to her, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
Often in John 20, 21 Peace be with you!
When weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:42) he said If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes.
But how does Jesus actually bring peace about? In Isaiah 53:5 we read But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. By nature we are God’s enemies, we are at war with God but by his death on the cross the Lord Jesus has secured peace for all who trust in him.
The word for peace is a very full one. It does no mean merely the absence of war. It means well being, freedom from anxiety, wholeness, completeness. This is what Jesus Christ brings to his people – peace that transcends understanding, peace with God. The person who knows Messiah has a total peace that cannot be taken away. All his sins are forgiven and he at peace with God. He knows peace in his heart at last. He is then able to be a peacemaker and bring God’s peace to others.
As so often in Scripture, we end with peace (grace, mercy and peace). Verse 7 simply expands on this Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. It reminds us of Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you know peace with God? Possession of all who trust in Christ. As Isaiah often says there is no peace for the wicked but to those who look to Christ God says Peace, peace, to those far and near. Paul takes this up in Ephesians 4 (14-18) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Peace is often spoken of, especially at Christmas. It can be yours in Christ. Warning: peace is not the same as complacency or warm feelings. Real peace comes through faith in Christ.
It is very important for believers to make every effort to continue in the peace the Prince of peace has brought. Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. 2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.